PLAYLIST: Juan Wauters’ Latin Music That Inspired “Más Canciones De La Onda”

The Uruguayan songwriter shares some tracks that helped him write his new travelogue EP.

It’s been interesting watching Juan Wauters evolve over the past decade from his role fronting the oddball garage-rock group The Beets to venturing off on his own with solo records increasingly embracing his South American roots. Last year Wauters dropped a pair of LPs, the first of which, La Onda De Juan Pablo, followed his travels through his native Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, and other South American countries. And to complement these tracks, Wauters released Más Canciones De La Onda last week, an EP of some of his favorite tracks cut from the project that managed to work as a cohesive work on their own.

While both Onda records function as vicarious travelogues, Wauters helped aid our imaginations with a playlist of songs that recall his recent trek, sounds that wafted through the air—and his unconscious—while penning much of his recent output. It’s a great primer on Latin music for anyone to whom Onda has opened new doors. Stream the whole thing below, and read on for some insight from the troubadour.

Más Canciones De La Onda is out now via Captured Tracks. You can stream it here.

Jeanette, “Oye mamá, oye papá”

I like the arrangement and the overall theme of the lyrics. 

Juan Gabriel, “Es Mejor”

I like the guitar riff during the intro and the breaks, the percussion, and the way the song feels when it gets to the chorus.

Astor Piazzolla y Horacio Ferrer, “Canción de las Venusinas”

This song’s aura reminds me of my childhood living back in Uruguay. I still listen to this music. During the trip in which I did the recordings that ended up on “La Onda de JP” and the new EP, I met my friend and I told him to improvise on the bandoneon so I could recite a poem I wrote. We wanted to recreate, in our own way, the feeling of these two artists.

Eliah y Elizabeth, “Mis 32 Dientes”

I like the lyrics and melodies in this song. These two sisters had an album that I was listening to a lot while the making of these recordings.

Victor Jara, “Te recuerdo Amanda”

I was shown this song on my trip and it resonated a lot with me. I love the lyrics and the overall feel.

Mariana Ingold y Hugo Fattoruso, “Palo y Tamboril”

I like how in this song there’s a repetitive phrase on the keyboard, and the lyrics really resonate with me.

Alfredo Zitarrosa, “El Loco Antonio”

I like how in this song the singer talks to the song and says “what will you talk about” and then it reminisces about imagery from his childhood. 

Daniel Santos, “Lamento Borincano”

When I was on my trip someone played this song on the guitar to show it to me. I had heard this song played by Caetano Veloso, but when I heard it sung by a passerby on the street, it really hit me. The chord progression and the lyrics really inspired me during the trip. 

La Negra Graciana, “La Iguana”

In this song, the singer mentions the items inside a store and the things that make her store the best one in the area. The repetition of the music accompaniment and the constant change in the lyrics are some of my favorite elements in music. This song inspires me a lot also during the songwriting process.

Jaime Roos, “Tu Vestido Blanco”

This is one of my favorite singers in the world, and he has always inspired me. I enjoy the lyrics and especially the solos on the piano. I like how they are somewhere between a solo and hook melody.

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